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Friendships are an important part of our social interactions. There are several levels of friendship. Some are in depth and others are friendly acquaintances. However, all involve a mutual and comfortable relationship between two people.

Building a friendship takes time. It requires spending time together getting to know each other. It involves being supportive and helpful. Most friendships build as both parties feel enough trust to disclose personal information to each other. As that information shared is kept confidential, the feelings of trust grow even stronger.

Maintaining friendships takes time. In our busy world, they sometimes get neglected. It is easy to send a friend a card simply saying you are thinking of them. It is also easy to send a quick email. It is not realistic to spend all your time with your friends. However, friendships often evolve out of shared interests, so there are opportunities to spend time with your friends.

If you find you have not had much time for friends, invite them to do something you will already be doing such as join your family for dinner. They will appreciate the invitation and you will get to spend some time together nurturing your friendship.

conflicts do occur in the best of friendships. Be honest about your feelings and work to resolve any conflicts that come up. If your friendship is valuable to you, find ways to make the lines of communication open for discussions.

Of course, not all friendships can last forever. People and their interests change over time. It is never good to maintain a friendship where you feel the person is intentionally trying to harm you or when the friend continually takes advantage of you. Some friendships are toxic for your well being. You are better off ending those types of friendships.

Losing a friend can be heartbreaking. If you feel you no longer want to continue a friendship, but honest about it. If you feel the loss of a friendship you really want back, extend the olive branch to that person. Friendships offer us interactions and support of others, usually in a non-threatening environment. It is in the worst of personal times that we value our true friends the most.



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